Howdy Partners and Welcome to Day 4 of the Scrapbooking Challenge based on The Hunger Games! We are visiting District 10 of Panem today, it is cow country and the primary industry is livestock.
I found a great site by Scholastic Publishing with videos of The Hunger Games' author, Suzanne Collins, and one of them describes her classical inspiration for the story of The Hunger Games, click here for the link to the story from Ancient Greece about Crete and the Minotaur. Sidebar: I spent a semester in Greece while I was in college and we went to Crete and I've read Edith Hamilton's Greek Mythology several times cover to cover, but that was about 20 years ago so the story was vaguely familiar. Seems Collins mashed up the story about the Minotaur with the modern day tv realities shows like Survivor and The Bachelor and came up with completely enthralling literature for young and old alike. I have convinced people of all ages to read this series which I was initially skeptical about, it is seriously a must read I think. Read it, it is good stuff and extremely well written so that the characters all are shades of grey instead of black and white, the characters all have an arch, and all the loose ends get tied up in the end; and the story stays with you making you think about several different but important themes like government, family, survival, excess vs. minimalism, war, the economy, family dynamics, group dynamics.... lots and lots of themes in this series.
Speaking of "Piling It On", during the video presentation I describe an Intro to Improvisational Comedy Game in which the group stands in a circle and says words starting with a particular letter. The circle will go around a few times with everyone coming up with a word, but the trick is that you can't say a word twice, so at some point, someone will be a bit stumped and/or it will seem like the group has said all of the words that start with that letter. Until someone says a word with that same letter but maybe in a different topic, for example maybe the group was going P words and saying words like "place" "paradise" "paris" "parks" "panem" ... and then someone says "people" and then the group is opened up to words like "peter" "principle" "principal" "playwright" "poet" "peeta"... and on and on. Ok, just remembered, in improv class, we played it like "The minister's cat is a ________ cat" so each person had to say, rhythmically and maybe there was also clapping involved, the sentence and fill in the blank with a word starting with a particular letter. So say we picked "A" then we'd go around and say "The minister's cat is an ANGRY cat." and the next person would say "The minister's cat is an AVERAGE cat." and so on until someone felt stumped but then the doors would open back up and we'd have a slew of words when we thought we were all tapped out. This game is fun to play with kids if you have any handy, they love it and I guarantee you will all laugh yourselves silly. It is fun good stuff that will get your brain thinking in a new creative way. I promise.
If you apply the concept of "piling it on" to scrapbooking and story telling, you can come up with the same kind of creative result. Its a way to get your brain to come up with stories and memories that you might not normally think of. For example, without this Hunger Games Scrapbooking Series and the particular stop at District 10 Livestock - which seems pretty random and also seems like it has nothing to do with my life - I don't live on a farm, I don't have cows, I don't even like to eat mammals if I can help it. But with this one prompt of "livestock" and the concept of including 10 stories about cows on one scrapbooking page, I quickly came up with over 20 funny stories about cows, and I'm fairly sure I could come up with another 20 if I gave myself another 5 or 10 minutes. Seriously, this kind of improv scrapbooking works to open up your brain to a place where you can get more creative, have more fun, and come up with ideas more quickly.
Here's my scrapbook layout about Cows:
But, you may be saying, "Katie, I don't really want to scrapbook about cows." I say to you, my fine Scrapbooking virtual friend, "Give it a try!" If Kid Rock can come up with a complete song about being a cowboy, surely you can think of some memories about cows. You don't have to pick cows or livestock as your prompt. You could try Goats or Farms or Cowboys or Pets or anything really - the key is to just pick something - anything - but once you've picked, don't go back, you've got to fully commit to whatever it is and then start to think of stories about that topic and just start writing. Don't worry if you get to a place where you think you don't have any more stories about that topic, just keep going, because just like in that improv game with the Angry Cat, you'll think you've exhausted "A" words for cats and then you'll think of a new one and the doors of creativity - or in the scrapbooking case, of stories related to a particular topic will open wide like barn doors blowing open right before a storm rolls in and you'll have a hard time shutting off the story switch because your mind will be full of stories and memories you haven't thought about in years. It is magic.
If you would like to play along, please join the Facebook Event "The Hunger Games Scrapbook Challenge" or the Flickr Group and please leave a comment with a link to a page you've made and/or what you think of my crazy scrapbooking improv dystopia mash up. In other words, tell me: "Is this too far out there or are you digging it?"
If you'd like to explore some of this randomness and support my blog at the very same time, please click on the affiliate links:
P.S. This is the cow photo collage that I created in Picasa (and yes that bull right over the number "10" is doing something to prove his dominance over the girl cows - he was mad when I moo-ed at them and wanted to show me who was boss immediately - fortunately the kids didn't really notice that part - that will be a story for when they are a bit older maybe - it was so funny), here it is :
Here are the corresponding stories in the hidden journaling for my 10 Cow Stories Scrapbook Page (the part in the pocket) and it goes a little like this:
"We saw those cows on the side of the road in North Carolina and slowed down to Moo at them like Charlie and I did when we were four wheeling in the Georgia mountains when we were dating. That is always a funny and happy story to tell. It then occurred to me that I have lots of funny stories about cows and farm animals - here are 10 that srping to mind:
1. Charlie loves to wear his leather jacket on Friday nights when he goes to "Band Camp" because the thinks it make him look cool.
2. Allison recently declared herself to be a vegetarian - although lately she’s been the kind of vegetarian that I am - we try not to eat cows and pigs and instead stick to fish and feathers.
3. Charlie’s cousin Penni is a large animal vet and one year a horse or cow kicked her in the hand and she broke her finger and there was a strange fixation for the broken bone with metal prongs coming right out of her skin and a big ugly putty looking thing that held the metal prongs together; she made the best of things andpainted the big ugly thing with lots of glitter and when she came to visit she told us that she had a brand new big diamond ring! Everyone had to look two or three times to process the sparkly contraption on her hand.
4. My dad had lots of land and one year he was so impressed with himself because he got a tax refund for being a farmer since he bought a cow, had it eat his field grass for a season, and then sold the cow earning him $2,000 and qualifying him for a tax refund! He was thrilled to be able to combine two of his favorite things: his land and saving money.
5. The children’s museum in St. Pete has a plastic cow that you can actually milk.
6. Allison calls milk "cow’s milk" and when she says it she draws out the o sound in cow so it takes her about three times as long to say the word cow; and I don’t like cow’s milk at all but when the kids were little I felt like a cow and even once made a scrapbook layout with lots of sticker sneeze of colorful cows all over it and the subject matter was how I was the children’s food source, what was I thinking? I think that while you are a nursing mom, the babies kind of suck your brains out along with the milk.
7. When my mom first moved to Florida she lived next door to a cow farm and she had an orange tree in her back yard and one year we went to her house for Thanksgiving so her husband Bob could cook and while we were waiting for dinner, we all went into the backyard to feed oranges to the cows.
8. My aunt Carolyn, who when I was little had a herd of about 9 cats that she brought with her everywhere including on her road trips from Rhode Island all the way to Calais, Maine on the border of Canada when she came to visit us and my Nana and Grandpi; and now she has an actual herd of goats and she has a business called Goats and Greens and she sells organic herbs and salad greens to fancy restaurants and health food stores and she makes goat’s milk soap and lotions that she sells at farmer’s markets and on the internet. Allison and I went to her goat farm when Allison was only 4 months old and she had me bottle feed her baby goats before I went to the airport and I don’t think it was to be cute - I think she actually needed help with all those adorable baby goats.
9. When Mac was little our babysitter Donna called him Mackey Moo Moo and sometimes we still call him this or, for short, we call Mac just "moo moo".
10. When I was in Bangor High School I can remember the jock type guys talking about how they went out cow tipping, I think even my old boyfriend, David, said he did this sort of thing. But Katie and Nancy and I always sort of thought that was Bull. :) Katie and my cow memories - ok one more - when I was a kid everyone used to sing me the WWII song: Ka-Ka-Ka Katie, Oh Beautiful Katie, you’re the only, only girl that I adore; when the ma-moon shines over the COW shed, I’ll be waiting at your ka-ka-ka kitchen door. I must have heard that one about a million times before I turned ten. :) KATIE’S COW STORIES 2/28/12."
Again, just to highlight, we are not cow people, but I do have a lot of stories I could tell around a cowboy campfire about cows. Scrapbookers, try this yourselves! Take one topic and you will amaze yourself at how many stories you can think up and remember. And then report back, leave a comment or a link, I would love to see your project or scrapbook page.